FC CLACTON manager Tom Austin felt his side let two points slip from their grasp after sharing the spoils from a breathless ten-goal thriller against Thetford Town.

The sides drew 5-5 in an incredible Thurlow Nunn League premier division contest on Saturday afternoon.

Clacton led 4-3 before trailing 5-4, only to grab a late equaliser at the Austin Arena.

Austin admitted it was a highly-entertaining contest - certainly from a spectator's point of view - but felt his side should have banked maximum points.

"I'd be lying if I said I enjoyed it, to be honest," he said.

"It was great entertainment and the supporters certainly got their money's worth.

"But from my perspective, as manager, it was tough to watch at times.

"From an attacking point of view, it was great to score five goals but, when you do that, you expect to win.

"Some of our defending could have been better and it was disappointing to go from 4-3 up to 5-4 down.

"Thetford were down to ten men for a big chunk of the game and then went down to nine for the last few minutes, after having a player sin-binned.

"It was really frustrating not to win and there are certainly things to work on."

Austin felt his side missed key players, including suspended pair Chris Ribchester and Kyelan Marvell, the injured Zach Smith-Walter and Joe Fowler and the ill Jack Clampin.

"It boils down to inconsistency again," said the Clacton boss, who takes his side to Newmarket Town on Saturday.

"That's been a recurring theme in recent weeks and it's coincided with us not being able to field a settled side.

"We've had key players out because of injury, suspension and illness.

"Any team at this level would miss players of their quality but hopefully we're getting closer to having them available again and turning the tide.

"Ribbo and Kyelan should be back this weekend and Clamps is 50-50.

"It's been a tough time but there's still plenty to be positive about.

"We're eighth in the table and, if we win our games in hand, we could go fourth."

Austin was also delighted to welcome back goalkeeper Luke Avenell, who has joined on loan from Brantham Athletic.

The deal will keep him with the Seasiders until early March.

"Luke's one of the best goalkeepers in the league," said Austin.

"He's got an air of quality and professionalism about him and his distribution is first class.

"He's had injury problems this season but now he needs to get minutes under his belt and help us push on."